Elephants in Thailand, for love or money?
Animal lovers LOVE to flock to Thailand for close encounters with wild mammals, selfies with elephants & stroking tigers,
but how do you know if the love you have for animals is shared with the keepers?
The truth is, no animal was created for captivity, no mammal designed to be ridden, chained up or washed by humans.
Sure, as time evolves, so does the relationship between human & animal in given circumstances, but just remember, wild animals are not our playmates, as much as we’d love them to be. In a lot of situations, the animals we encounter on our travels that are outside of their wild habitat, have been captured, born into captivity, or rescued.
There are many SAFE & loving sanctuaries in Thailand that rescue animals from cruel captivity & tourism abuse, they will see that your money is well spent, giving back to the elephants in all ways possible,
visits for tourists are delivered ONLY in a way that fully respects the elephants, allowing you to have an experience you won’t forget & be supporting a great cause.
These gentle giants are one of the most magnificent mammals to be face to face with. Thailand boasts it endless opportunities to do this.
So how do you know if an Elephant experience is going to be safe & loving for our gentle giants? How do you decipher between the cruel & the caring?
Going with a recommendation is one of the best ways to ensure you are going to get what you want, as there are a lot of ‘sanctuaries’ using this word to suggest they have an ethical practice when indeed they don’t.
Tricking tourists into an elephant experience by using the words they relate to, thinking it’s one of the ‘good ones’.
Do your research & look out for these key signs when planning;
– Elephants don’t have the back support to carry the weight of the seats (usually weighing 200lb!) plus people.
No matter how it is dressed up to be safe, it isn’t, elephants are not meant to be ridden, so any experience offering elephant rides, is a red flag.
Chains, or markings from chains – If the Elephants are kept on chains, or have markings around their feet that indicate they do, it’s a sign that they are being kept chained up outside of ‘visiting hours’. Often this is in a small enclosure, far from fit for a happy life!
Sanctuary elephants are not kept on chains, they live in groups & will roam around an open enclosure with plenty of space.
Tools/instruments – to ‘guide’ elephants. Any tool, hook or jab, being used to move elephants into position is another red flag. As gentle as the keeper may seem, often the elephant will be responding to such an order through a painful memory, that tool will represent pain or discomfort.
Go by recommendations & do your research into finding the best genuine sanctuaries when booking your elephant experience in Thailand,
fantastic sanctuaries do exist, but sadly they are far outnumbered by parks that practice tourism abuse.